Gifts for Myself

In the wake of the wedding, and then the holidays and being overstimulated, and then sick, I have realized that I’ve not just been neglecting my health and my alone-time needs. I’ve been neglecting me entirely.

First, let’s tackle the easy part

I have a hard time asking for things. I have a hard time justifying buying stuff for myself. Even when I need it.  I was intensely uncomfortable with the whole wedding-shower process.  I did finally break down and register, but we registered for our honeymoon, rather than stuff.

I will go without new work clothes until I can’t manage it any more. The only thing I can get myself without overwhelming amounts of guilt and justification are books. I can buy a whole lot of books without batting an eye. They are research, they are part of my craft, they are as essential to my being as food and water.

What I suck at buying myself is absolutely anything else that benefits only me. Clothes, haircuts, shoes, makeup, perfume, anything personal like that. If I absolutely need it, I can force myself to purchase some.

Now it gets messy.

The above quirk is just a symptom of a larger problem.  My lack of self-care runs deeper and more pervasively than a little miserly trend.

I also go without things I need to give myself emotionally. I don’t ask for the things I need from other people. I sure don’t figure out how to source those things within myself. Mostly, I go into denial about the idea that I might need anything at all. I subvert all of my needs.  But they are still there, and still aching. I still need things, but because I deny this, I also deny myself any positive way to get them met.

Then I go a little bonkers. I do things that are vastly out of character. When I catch myself acting like someone else, I blink and look around. Whoa, what the hell just happened? and I try to figure out why my subconscious decided I needed to play that role with that person.

I don’t know why this happens. I suppose I could get some therapy and figure the why out, but it doesn’t really matter.  I don’t think it matters because knowing the source of the issue won’t help me create a resolution.  The way to resolve this is to take care of myself. To listen to what I need – on all levels – and to do whatever is in my power to provide those things to myself.

I bought myself some work clothes last week, and I got a haircut on Saturday. It helped. At the very least, I don’t feel like I’m completely disconnected anymore.

The process of identifying and trying to meet those needs has taken a toll on me, though. I’m sad, listless and tired. I’m emotionally wrung out. I have a lot of journaling to do on this topic – especially around identifying needs so I can better articulate them.

 

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